UCR is the Unified Carrier Registration program. Created by the Unified Carrier Registration Act of 2005 (UCR Act - 49 United States Code (USC) section 14504a), it is a system for registering and collecting fees from the operators of vehicles engaged in interstate travel. It is a state-administered program, but it is established under federal law. The fees charged under the UCR program are uniform across all the participating states and are set by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation upon the recommendation of the UCR Board, the governing body of the UCR program. Interstate motor carriers of nearly every type are subject to UCR, as are interstate transportation brokers and freight forwarders, and companies that lease or rent rolling stock to interstate carriers. Each entity subject to UCR is required to register annually with its base state and to pay an annual fee.
UCR Registration is based on fleet size and fees are graduated through a system of six brackets depending on the number of vehicles. Brokers and leasing companies that operate no vehicles themselves must still register under the UCR program at the level that describes the number of vehicles as 0-2. One annual registration applies to all vehicles that are registered under one USDOT number.
UCR fees are calculated from the total number of commercial motor vehicles operated by a carrier. A commercial motor vehicle is defined as one having a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,001 pounds or more; designed to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver; or transporting hazardous materials in quantities requiring the vehicle to be placarded.
The number of commercial motor vehicles for purposes of determining carrier UCR fees is the number of commercial motor vehicles the carrier reported in the most recent Form MCS-150 filed with the FMCSA.
The UCR Program requires individuals and companies that operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate or international commerce to register with a participating state and pay an annual fee based on the size of their fleet. This includes motor carriers, motor private carriers, freight forwarders, leasing companies and brokers based in the United States, Canada, Mexico, or any other country that operate across state lines. It also includes carriers transporting interstate goods even if their vehicles do not leave the state. Interstate carriers based in a non-participating state, still must comply, and a base state is assigned. It is advisable to use a professional DOT compliance agent to register under the UCR program to avoid confusions regarding the participating states and the assignment thereof. To file through an agent, click here.
Entities not required to register under the UCR program include: purely intrastate carriers, that is, those that do not engage in interstate transportation across state lines or otherwise operate in interstate commerce.